The Bauermeister Familiy

In my last blog post, I shared examples of the many friends and family members who helped us with our garage sale last week. The week before I told you about what turned out to be 125 friends, coworkers, and family members who supported our puzzle fundraiser. I am convinced we have the best friends, family, and coworkers in the entire world. Never did we dream to have this kind of support through our adoption process. We count our blessings everyday because we have met so many people who do not have the kind of support network that we do.

Today I want to highlight one specific family who has cheered us on from the very first day that we announced that we were adopting. But before I begin, I want to tell you about something that happened several weeks ago. As I started to think about the puzzle fundraiser, I realized that if people donated $5,000 for the puzzle, we would have $30,000 for the adoption. (Insert big sigh of relief!)

To date, we have spent $13,106.65 on various adoption costs (e.g., agency payments, USCIS payments, home study, background checks, authentication of documents, updated home study payments, etc.). Realistically, we knew that $30,000 was the minimum we would need to bring Tucker home. I began thinking about the fact that we would need a bit more than $30,000 and started to wonder what we were going to do to. You can't budget for exact costs of travel when you are sometimes booking your flights a week in advance or sometimes two days in advance. Flight costs highly depend on time of year, and since we have no idea when we will actually travel, our tickets could cost $2700 or $1300. So hard to plan! I started to get worked up about it and then immediately shut off those feelings of worry. If I knew anything to be true, I knew that this adoption was God's idea...not ours. He lead us to this point, and I had faith that He would provide. Amazing how quickly any worry I had vanished as soon as I remembered Romans 8:28: "And we know that in ALL things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (Insert another sigh of relief)

A week later on May 5th I received an email from my friend Lisa Bauermeister.

I've been meaning to ask you...Andy was thinking he wanted to run Leadville (for those of you who do not know, this is a 100 mile race in Colorado!) to raise money for Tucker. I know you may have him before Aug 17 and I also don't want to do another fundraiser if you don't want to or if you think it will compound the puzzle fundraiser. Also, would there be an easy way to do it so people can pledge money per mile that he finishes? Thoughts?

For those of you who don't know Lisa, you need to know that she is one of the most selfless, loyal friends a person could ever have. She thinks of others before herself every single time. During our garage sale, I text some girlfriends asking if anyone had an extra pair of sunglasses because my mom was borrowing mine. Lisa showed up 10 minutes later with 6 pairs of sunglasses from which to choose. That is just Lisa!

Lisa and Andy: Bourbon Chase 2012 at Huddle House 3 a.m.
Van #1 for Bourbon Chase 2012: Danny, Jackie, Andy, Lisa, Amy, and Ryan
For those of you who don't know Andy, you need to know that in May 2009, Andy was not a runner. Ice hockey...yes! Running...no! Lisa was able to talk Andy into running The Bourbon Chase, a 200 mile relay race across Kentucky, with five other couples (we were one of them!). Since that point, running has become a HUGE part of Andy's life. Since then, Andy has ran multiple 5K's, 10K's, 15K's, 50K's, half marathons, and the Chicago Marathon. He ran the Bourbon Chase two more times (last year Ryan and I were in the same van with him and Lisa), and he is running Bourbon Chase this year with only 5 other guys, as it is an ultra team (Ryan is one of them). Andy also ran the Peace, Love, and 50 Miles Trail Marathon in Hell Michigan. In April, Ryan and I had the privilege of being with Andy during his very first 100 Mile Race - The Indiana Trail 100 in Albion, Indiana. I cannot explain to you how terrible the conditions of this race were - freezing temperatures and severe flooding in already difficult conditions of running 100 miles on TRAILS. After completing EIGHTY THREE miles, Ryan helped Andy finish the last 17 miles of this race.

Andy finished his first 100 mile race in 27 hours, 30 minutes!!! Only 30% of the people who signed up to run the Indiana Trail 100 finished. You can read more about his experience HERE.

Ryan, Andy, and Matt at the Indiana Trail 100

Ryan and Andy on the final stretch

Andy finishing his first 100 mile race!!!
You can imagine how blown away we were to receive Lisa's email asking if she and Andy could raise money to help bring Tucker home when he runs his next big race: Leadville Trail 100. Leadville, CO sits at 9200 feet, goes up 11,000 feet twice, and 12,600 feet twice. Overall elevation gain is 16,000 feet. Indiana is at 750 feet above sea level. To know that Andy is willing to push his body and his mind to that kind of extreme, and he is doing it help bring our son home from China, it inspires me to keep pushing forward when the wait seems too hard to bear.

Realistically, we know that AT MOST we will need $5,000 to have all the necessary funds to pay for all expenses. Andy and Lisa have set a goal to raise $10,000 total, with the first $5,000 benefitting our family, and the second $5,000 benefitting other adoptive families to help them bring their children home. Is that the most incredible thing you have ever heard??? I LOVE seeing the hearts of those around us opening up to orphan care. If Ryan and I only need part of the $5,000 for Tuck's adoption, say $2,500, we will give the other $2,500 to other adoptive families. We will only use what we need, and the rest will be gladly given to others!

I know that several people have asked if they can still give to our adoption even though the puzzle fundraiser is over. The answer is yes!! You can visit the following website and make a donation through Andy and Lisa's You Caring page, or you are welcome to send a check. I am so hopeful that Andy will feel encouraged and inspired to keep running, knowing that he is helping bring home the most beautiful little guy from China!

To donate to Andy and Lisa's fundraiser, please visit the following website. Please do not feel any pressure to give if you've already donated to our puzzle fundraiser unless you feel lead to do so. Let's cheer Andy on as he embarks on one of the most physically and mentally challenging races a person can do!

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